The anti-immigrant hate group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) will be holding its latest “border tour” on October 30 and 31 in McAllen, Texas.
Joining FAIR officials will be sheriffs from across the country, though the number of law enforcement officials attending is unclear as FAIR and the sheriffs it works with have not made public the names of all of the participants.
While FAIR continues to be secretive about its latest tour, the organization’s relationship with law enforcement, government officials and politicians is critically important to its anti-immigrant agenda. FAIR often hosts events with high level participants, such as its annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” gathering in Washington, DC, which brings together far right radio hosts, politicians and law enforcement officials all in an attempt to voice opposition to immigration to the United States.
FAIR and other anti-immigrant groups also rely heavily on leaked information from Border Patrol officials. Anti-immigrant groups actively engage in developing sources within this agency and its affiliated unions who are willing to leak information directly to them. They also cultivate spokespersons from within these unions who are willing to echo their messaging and to advocate for their policy goals. This collusion is highlighted in great detail in a report released earlier this year by the civil rights organization Center for New Community (CNC) titled, “Blurring Borders: Collusion Between Anti-immigrant Groups and Law Enforcement Agents.” Border Patrol agents will also be participating in the FAIR tour in McAllen.
Only three sheriffs to date have confirmed that they will be attending FAIR’s Texas tour, which advertises courses such as “recognizing the border crisis in your jurisdiction” and “drug wars and the recruitment of American teens by cartels.” Oddly, two of the three confirmed sheriffs are located in states far from the Mexican border. Terry Johnson of Alamance County, N.C., Ken Matlack of Morrow County, Ore., and A.J. Louderback of Jackson County, Texas, are the sheriffs confirmed for the event. All three have longstanding relationships with anti-immigrant groups. Though it is unclear how many other sheriffs will be in attendance, a map on the CNC website documents other examples of sheriffs attending previous FAIR events such as a border tour in 2014.